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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  September 9, 2009 7:00am-10:00am EDT

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the future of south carolina governor mark sanford. "washington"washington is now next. -- "washington journal" is next. >> good morning, one headline today, "the tide turns against the public option on health care per cup in an interview airing this or our on abc, president barack obama says his administration is not being rigid or ideological about the health care issue. the chairman of the senate finance committee, max baucus, has set a 10:00 a.m. eastern deadline for to democrats and three democrats to respond to his proposal on health care. all this is setting the stage for tonight's prime-time address
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by the president, his second appearance before the joint session of congress since taking office trade it is wednesday morning, the night of december. . host: some details about what the president will be talking
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about here. he says will remains unclear is whether the president will insist on the government-backed public option to compete with private insurance companies, or compromise. there is again a reference to the abc "good morning america" interview to be broadcast again today. the headline from "the hill" newspaper reports that political momentum appeared to swing sharply against the public health insurance option prized by liberals on tuesday. alexander is joining us on the phone. he wrote the story with his colleagues. that sets the stage for the public option. what about this 10:00 a.m.
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deadline from senator max baucus? guest: we're waiting to hear from recommendations by the gang of six about how his proposal can be improved. we do not know whether chuck grassley and olympia snowe will offer comprehensive changes or whether they can even meet such a tight deadline as max baucus set yesterday. they have had only overnight to work on it. i think what max baucus is trying to do -- i guess he is trying to illustrate the president's talking point which is to ask republicans, what is your solution? trying to put the ball back in their court, motivate them to
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sign onto the plan he has put together. host: one of the details leaked from senator max baucus' office, if you do not have insurance individuals could be fined, and so could famous. how would that work? guest: that is if you make 300% above the poverty level. individuals would be $750, family is $1,500, at a certain level above the poverty line. the details have not been discussed much publicly. the proposal itself is controversial. it remains to be seen whether it can pass the senate.
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once we get a better sense of it, then we will get into the nitty gritty details of how the fine would be assessed. enforcement will be difficult. i cannot think of any similar find like that. host: in the other discussion on the hill of the last couple of weeks is that in place of a public option there would be these non-profit cooperatives. who is floating the idea, and generally how would work? guest: the non-profit cooperative was first floated by kent conrad and has gained support amongst other conservative democrats.
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basically, you would have a membership-run the insurance company. usaa is an example. there is no profit motive for shareholders. the members of the public own the company and they pay for the cost, but nothing is skimmed off the top. the idea is that consumers get the best bang for their buck. it is different from the public option in the sense that you do not have the government pumping in money constantly, and would not have the government
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imposing various regulations on competing private insurance companies. host: alexander bolton whose story appears online, he says the will be more details in advance of the president's speech. also, olympia snowe is reported to be said to wait until after the president's speech to make any final determination on the plan being put forth by senator max baucus. supposedly, the senator is offering the president a glimmer of hope, circulating a detailed draft of the only democratic reform proposal that has been assembled with republican input. as of tuesday he was unable to persuade his gang of six to
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endorse the nearly $900 billion plan. danny is joining us from bluefield, louisiana. caller: good morning. i am determined to see the public option as part of the bill. even if the democrats lose, at least the public would know that we have been bought by the health insurance companies'. max baucus has received $3.8 million in donations from them. he arranged his gang of six 50/50, when the congress is actually 60% democrat. the public should make sure that he loses his position when this is all done. host: we will go to redford,
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mich., opposing the public option. caller: hope i oppose it. [unintelligible] there are too many unanswered questions. i don't see how we can sell that. it will cause the country to go into bankruptcy. host: the headline here from politico. health care, obama facing the moment of truth. down towards the bottom, this story says that sources close to senator chris dodd said he will keep the banking chairmanship.
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it would lead the way for the possibility of senator tom harkin, a democrat from iowa to succeeded the late senator 1ted kennedy. then it is joining us from fort campbell, ky. you are undecided about the public option? caller: good morning. well, i'm undecided. i was kind of curious when i heard about olympia snowe. she is using common sense. i am an independent, neither democrat nor republican. as a matter fact is both parties that got us into this mess over the years. host: let me read a quotation
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from olympia snowe. the republicans consider -- considered most likely to sign on to the plan, senator olympia snowe, said she will wait to hear what the president has to say. caller: right, and to meet the lady is attempting to use some common sense. one thing we're not hearing much about, it seems like people are wanting to get this business of medicare, part of social security involved. if you live in places like new york, baltimore, minneapolis, it seems like there's not much problem. people refer to that as a public option and i guess it is to a certain extent.
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but people in rural areas do not often experience that. if you cannot get a physician, call it whenever, you will not receive health care. i'm willing to listen to president obama tonight. i'm undecided. it seems to me we need to straighten out the problems that already exist with our so-called public options before embarking on a new program. i appreciate you letting me share my thoughts, steve. host: our coverage will get under way at 7:30 p.m. eastern. the president's remarks are scheduled for 8:00 p.m. eastern. the speech will be about 35 minutes, without applause. there will be republican comment as well. our guest will talk to us about
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his opposition of bell some proposals being put forth with democrats. john is joining us from virginia, a supporter of the plan. caller: good morning. yes, sir, i am very much in support of a public option, and in support of president obama's plan to -- at least we have something comprehensive and coherent. it is time to get something done. the issue has been debated long enough. it is time, the country is polarized, to take the vote and get it done. host: ron is joining us from ohio. actually, we will go to darlene from charlotte, north carolina. caller: good morning, i would like to make people aware of the fact that the annenburg
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institute did a study on the total contribution of workers since 1965. senior citizens contributed 65,000 to medicare through working life and to date collect $178,000. those are the very people who oppose a public health care plan for the rest of us. in essence, they are rubbing their children and grandchildren so they can continue getting their benefits. -- they are robbing them. perhaps they should put a cap on their own benefits comparatively to what they have contributed. the same is happening with social security. they are collecting way over what they have actually contributed. for all the senior citizens who
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are opposed -- their kids and grandkids getting health care plan like they are, maybe they need to cap what they are getting now. thank you, c-span, for allowing me to voice my opinion. host: you can reach as by twitter. this message says that the public option is comparable to buying into medicare with premiums making it a self- sustaining. good morning. caller: no, i just do not have any faith in our road. they have bankrupt is social security, medicare, medicaid. they have bankrupt of the postal system, amtrak, and for them to take over such a large part of our economy -- i cannot trust
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them. they have managed to take a larger and larger portion of our money. i am a small business owner. if this goes through it will wipe me at. host: how many employees do you have? caller: right now two. host: one of the plan says if you have more than 200 employees it must have an insurance option. caller: yes, that is fine. if there are that many that wanted, this is a democratic government and i will accept what the majority wishes, but again, if this option goes through there is a good chance that i will be out of host: business richard who is the national campaign manager for health care american now will join us in the next hour. michael who wrote a piece online
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at time.com previewing the president's speech will join us later to give us his perspective on what the president will be doing. some call it a make or break speech. here on the front page of "the new york times" -- with the white house not quite back on its heels, the up for does not seem to have greatly altered public opinion or substantially weakened the democrats' resolved. host: this move to the senate
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floor yesterday as senators came also proposed some of the proposals put forth by senator max baucus. >> i just on the way over from ap read this. it says up to $3,000 fine for failure to get health insurance. a top center is calling for fines up to $3,800 on families who fail to get medical insurance after health-care overhaul goes into effect -- a top center is calling for this fine. do we want to do that? that is what we need to step back and examine that 600-page bill we passed through the health committee without the financing provisions. that several thousand page bill that was passed just before left. figure out what else we have
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added in the bill. host: a story this morning from inside "the washington times" -- the baucus plan would fine the uninsured. the reporting says the committee of six is furiously trying on tuesday to finalize what is considered the best hope of crafting a bipartisan proposal. jane is joining us from orange city, california. you're calling on the supporting line. caller: i do support it, strongly supports the public option. we have so much hysteria out there such as the gentleman who called with all these government
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programs better bankrupt -- none of them are. we cannot afford 30% or 40% administrative fees that private insurance companies charge. we cannot seem to negotiate for drug prices for prescription drugs. yes, a public option, in fact single-payer is the best way to go. without it we do not really stand a chance. host: the from pitcher from the front page pointing out that among democrats -- from the front page -- republican mike ross, he no longer supports it. he says an overwhelming number of his constituents oppose the
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plan. he is from a rural arkansas. caller: good morning, steve. i am so disgusted. i have been watching for the last few weeks, the town hall meetings, and i watched some of the committee chair people talk. president obama is trying to do the best he can, and what i perceive is that racism has raised its ugly head. they have an old saying that everything that goes around comes around. we're back to racism at its ugliest. host: how does it into this debate? caller: it is because president obama is to be as, he is black. many people in the country never wanted a black person in the white house. host: but he won the election by six percentage points.
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caller: that is true, but a lot of the people when they voted for him had many of the programs intact. since he is elected many of those, i feel or perceived, have backed away. it is because many of the republicans and some democrats have pulled away from him. you know what? it takes one person to start a riot. that is what has happened across the country. i have watched some of the town hall meetings and mostly seniors attended them. that is according to what i saw on tv. one last thing -- if a white person was drowning and a black person came along, especially a black male and he had it ropy get through to them or a stick
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to pull them out, do you know what? many of the whites would say to let them drowned. thank you for letting me share. host: from this paper, the editorial points so that under an individual mandate everyone not covered by an employer will be required to by this government-approved coverage, refundable, advance will tax credits, basically a up-front cash payments, will flow on a sliding scale to those earning up to 300% of the party line, or about $66,000 for a family of four. the max baucus plan foots the bill for these subsidies by imposing a 35% excise tax on any insurance company offering plans that cost more than a thousand dollars for singles and
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$21,000 for families. mr. obama claim that opposition was nothing more than mice. the reality says that even under the max baucus free market the government will soon control the entire health care market. this has been the liberal ambition for decades. next is george from olympia, washington. icaller: good morning, steve and listeners. this previous caller was spot on with all of these issues from the right wing nuts. i see big black eye and just oozing from their minds. as far as the public option is concerned, i am absolutely for it. if it does not pass, then i might consider it the group, the
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cooperative thing. i belong to one here in washington and i'm a senior, and it works very well. let me make a last comment about these right wing nuts, insurance companies, and all the money -- they are polluting our minds. carl sagan said that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. i would make a corollary to that. fools make foolish comments and statements that only fools believe. host: i will thank you for the call, george. we're joined from tennessee, a regular viewer on this network. caller: good morning. that guy who called us right
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wing nut, you know, we'll have a right here in the country to express our opinion. we're not nuts, we're just concerned about the physical well-being of this country. i always tell democrats who are so much in favor of the program, but don't you hold up your bank account, give your money to everyone, and then maybe they can afford to buy health insurance. i oppose the program because i don't think we can afford it ran out. we have 48 cents of every dollar of the government -- [unintelligible] secondly, when i have heard comments about the care some get overseas with these public options -- and the third reason is we have had something close
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to that here in tennessee. and finally found out is going broke. it does not work to try to provide health insurance for everybody. host: you can go to our website at c-span.org and click on the health care of it. we track of the town hall meetings and discussions on the canadian and british systems we studied here on c-span. the democrat from nevada says he supports the public option. >> personally, i am in favor of the public option. in my mind there's no question -- i cannot speak for the house caucus, but i believe the majority believe in the public option. we would do our best to have a public option or something like it before we finish.
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host: next is joe from atlanta. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am not really for or against any of these plans that are out. i think they are all of this. i believe we should really look at the choice between socialized medicine and non-socialized medicine. -- i think they are all bogus. there are 1400 health insurance companies out there now that we're paying billions of dollars to. they do nothing for health care. they take what money they might have left after paying expenses and pay for health care. if the government would pay a sport we could not deducted from income taxes, said it would be able to get -- if the government would pay for it, there would give more revenue to pay for it.
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all these interest people who make billions and produce nothing, they could get jobs to produce things and build up the manufacturing base. host: here inside the editorial page -- the reporter says that obama his address to congress on health care at minimum must answer the question -- what is the crisis? also, this morning from maureen dowd of "the washington times" -- if obama did not have a knife-thrower like rambo in the oval, he would not have a
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chance. chris jones's from omaha, nebraska. you get the last word. caller: a support this plan, actually. the president needs to lay out that this is essentially medicare for all. i believe everyone who has medicare is pretty pleased with it, as well as the va coverage. i was nearly killed the couple will years ago and the insurance company allowed the doctor to let me up with bills and did not do anything, no surgery. here are some bills, hope you get better. host: how do you feel today? caller: pain every day from morning until night. not good healthcare out there. host: the president will be attending a funeral service for
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walter cronkite, and then return to washington as after them. his speech will be tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern. it will be live on this network. we will be joined by pete dupont in a moment. later, a supporter of the public option will join us. it is the ninth of september, 2009.
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>> the supreme court has a rare special session today. listen to it on c-span3, c-span r adio, and on line. it also marks the first appearance on the bench for justice sonia sotomayor. here's justice clarence thomas on what it means to add a new justice. >> you are bringing in basically the men a family member. it changes the whole family. -- you're bringing in basically, a new family member. i have to get you grow very fond of the court that you spent a long time on. there was a time there with chief justice rehnquist and chief justice o'connor -- we had a long run together. you get comfortable with that. then it changes. now it is changing again. so, the institution is
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different. your reaction is different you get to learn each other and start all over. the chemistry is different. >> hear from other justices during supreme court week as c- span looks at the home to america's highest court, starting october 4. "washington journal" continues. host: we want to welcome the former congressman, former governor, and chairman of the board for the center for policy analysis. guest: thank you for having me. host: why are you here in washington today? guest: a radio show has put together an idea that people are really interested in having their own health insurance, being in charge of deciding who their doctor is, their coverage. rather than having the
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government do that. we put together a petition to send out and we will present to the house and senate 1.3 million americans signatures with addresses and names and reasons for personal health care. so, we will present that this afternoon. i believe it is the biggest petition presented to congress may be forever, but certainly in a long time. host: you can watch it at 2:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3, or on line. does medicare work? guest: medicare works, helps people. but you find in the new administration ideas that some of the medicare will be taken away and put in new programs.
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host: the president says that is not the case. guest: he says it is not, but up in new hampshire he talked about $177 billion for medicare advantage the goes to lower income people. he said it would go to another part of the program. i think senior citizens are concerned that their coverage will not be there. host: you have heard the argument that many who oppose a government-run health care get medicare or will be eligible for it, so what is the difference? what is medicare work in the public insurance option not? guest: medicare works because it is resources given to people who qualify. under the new system the government and a commission of a
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dozen people would decide what you could do if you went to the hospital. the idea is to shift away from people making their own decisions which is pretty much what we have today, to the idea that the government will make these decisions. that worries people. host: how many do thing for a truly uninsured and should the government have a role in helping them? guest: millions. i thought i had a number. host: we have heard as low as 9 million and as high as 50 million. guest: many of them have chosen not to get insurance, some are immigrants who do not qualify. a lot of people are uninsured because they're young, healthy, feel well. this proposal would bring in
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insurance to everyone. i think what the government is starting to say is that everyone will have to pay in money. host: the other part of the argument is that you need insurance to drive a car, so why shouldn't you have health insurance? guest: having health insurance is a very good idea and i suggest people get. but the idea that the government will run the health insurance program and will decide what your doctor can tell you, what prescriptions may be, whether this surgery is or is not allowed, that is a very different view. if we do as a in canada or england, the coverage will go
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down and individual choices will not be as available. that is not good. people ought to be able to sit down with their family members, doctors to decide what should be done. the decision ought to be made by individuals and doctors, not by bureaucrats here in washington in some agency. host: our guest is pete dupont, the former governor of the delaware. our phone lines are of them. you can also send us an e-mail. here is a question. could you elaborate on that? guest: i do not think there will be a state program from what i read in the papers and hear from washington. it is the idea of the
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administration that the government ought to run the entire program, one national program. there will not let california do one thing, new york another. i think it ought to be individuals who make the choices rather than having these bureaucracies far away putting in a set of rules about what is or is not covered. look at canada. look at at england. you can see everything works not as well because when the government is making the rules, it takes longer to see doctors. host: this is from "the denver post" -- barbara joins us from ocean grove, new jersey on the line for democrats. caller: good morning, dupont,
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you're speaking of people making our own decisions. we are not making them. the health insurance companies are. we are tied to jobs that we cannot quit because we will lose our health care. even if we're lucky enough to have employer-offered healthcare if we become ill, the insurance companies' we have paid exorbitant fees to -- wages have been stagnating for 30 years -- their profits have gone up 400%, tell us that we are dropped because of pre-existing conditions. you had migraines that you did not inform us of, or acne. we come home from the hospital after a medicare crisis or surgery finding that we have $1 million in healthcare costs. now we will not only die because we cannot afford it, but lose our homes and our families will be left destitute.
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i don't see that as much choice. as far as the young and healthy, they can get hit by truck. if they do not have health care, guess who picks up the cost? those who are paying the exorbitant fees of private health insurance. guest: i think we agree that everyone ought to have health care insurance. the question is, should that be imposed by the government with rules, or should you be able to go out and choose the policy you like? you also ought to have a policy you can take from the job you have, and if you like to change, you should be a will to take it with you. that would really help the american people. i don't think it is likely to happen. you ought to have health care authority within your family. you ought to have a policy that
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allows you to sit with your doctor to make decisions. host: two questions from joe by twitter. guest: the public option will not cost less than the government option does. it will be very expensive. the costs i think will go up. that is true when you look at any health care program the government runs now. when it begins to run up the price of everything, the price tends to increase. host: another point of view -- if there is no public option middle-class taxpayers would just be paying the for-profit companies their subsidies to take care of the poor. guest: everybody should have
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health care policy. now and the medicaid we have health care for low-income people. that is good. keep that going. but if you substitute for health care policy for you and your doctor make decisions -- and if you substitute for that, the idea that a government commission will make your decisions, i think that is difficult for american people. host: i read a little bit from a speechwriter to president george w. bush who is not an opinion writer for this paper -- he says, argues for a more incremental approach. instead of read-makinready makie healthcare system. guest: helping the poor at with
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health insurance is something we do. there's a case to be made that it should be expanded, but it does not mean people who can make their own choices were not in the low-income categories, that they should be covered by government. individual should be able to make choices if they have the resources. host: brian joins us on the republican line from chesapeake bay. caller: i was looking up your petition, gov., on the website and says you have nearly 1.3 million signatures. congratulations. host: this is what your website looks like. caller: can i still sign the petition? guest: absolutely, and we hope that you will. we will present them to the house and senate this afternoon.
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the signatures should continue because i think it will grow. pleased to go online and sign in. caller: the think congress will listen and respond? guest: i think so because various states have different amounts, numbers of people who signed the petitions. the congressman who seized in his district 3500 people have signed, i think it will pay some attention to that. host: here is a message by twitter. guest: i am not a spokesman for the insurance industry. i have nothing to do with the industry. i do have insurance policies, but that is so if i die my wife and kids will be all right. host: hello, caller.
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caller: i'm interested in your comments about individuals making choices. that is a very important part of the debate. as consumers we really do not have enough information for individuals to make choices. the federal panel i keep hearing about that you characterized as a bureaucracy seems to me to be creating fear in people when it essentially it has been established as a way to make sure we have reasonable -- a reasonable place to evaluate health care services. i believe the market should hold down prices. i'm interested in what you're proposing to ensure that consumers can make informed decisions, not just ones based on with their doctor tells them.
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informed decisions about the treatments they should seek. the second comment -- the debate seems to be more about access to insurance. americans really want access to care. insurance is a financing vehicle. i wonder if there things democrats and republicans can agree on that would allow the financing vehicles to ensure access, and then allow consumers to make real choices based on price and quality? host: can you have changes to the health care system without changing insurance? caller: i do not think so. i also do not think we can have fundamental changes to the health care delivery system without addressing some consumer needs.
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consumers want to be actively engaged, but we need information. it is over-simplified to say that it should be left to individuals when individuals are not equipped to make decisions right now about what is good or bad about the treatment they receive. host: thank you, catherine. guest: the problem is that you say individuals are not able to make those decisions. but individuals should be making those decisions because they can make better decisions for their own family than the government can make from a broad perspective. we do not want the government deciding what you can do, and why you cannot. to give you a couple of statistics, the british system is a socialist policy of healthcare. 74% of u.s. patients meet within
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four weeks to see their doctors. up in canada it is only 40%. i think individuals have to have some responsibility, and some opportunity to do the right things. the bill that the congress will take a look at, the big argument is whether the government should take over responsibility, or should it be left with individuals? that is the basic argument in washington in the the right answer is individuals should make the choices. people on the other side say that the government ought to do it. host: if you are 22 years old, in good health, college graduate, just turning out in the work force and decide you do not want healthcare coverage,
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but then you are in an accident and good to the emergency room and the hospital covers the cost -- indirectly people with insurance pay for. so, how do require that 22-year- old person to get health care? guest: you can do that. the government requires you to pay social security, various taxes. saying that individuals must get health insurance is a good thing. we ought to be able to persuade individuals it is good. we try to work at it, but young, healthy people say they are fine. it does not always happen. but to put that role of governing health insurance in the hands of the government takes away individualism and replaces it with a national decision policy.
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i do not think that is good for family health care. host: our guest is peter dupont, a former governor of delaware, and later today he will put forth his positions. donald is joining us from illinois. caller: yes, i have two questions. please do not cut me off. you said that coulthe government should not decide who should give insurance, protect you, but your insurance company decides your coverage right now whether or not you have it. they will deny andit.
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guest: well, if government takes over the running of health care, the government will do with the insurance companies are doing now. you should sit down with your doctor, your family and decide what is good, what do we need? get a policy like that. saying we will leave that all of to the government, that may give people some assistance, but that is taking away the right of individuals to do the right medical things for themselves and their families. host: donald, are you still there? caller: yes, now the next thing
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with to say is that you talk about mpeople waiting in canada and britain mingo my wife has been waiting for 10 weeks for a pain specialist in indiana because she has been having terrible pain in her bag. guest: who runs the clinic? he is not on -- welcome the question is, that clinic got to do better -- well, the clinic ought to do better. you to talk to your elected official and tell them to get the credit moving faster. but you do not want to put the government in charge because it will slow down the process you have even worse than it is today. host: does the current system
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for social security and medicare work? guest: the social security system works well and has been since franklin roosevelt. the problem is the huge debt. there are so many with social security benefits. i hope i keep getting them as long as i live, but the problem is, the government will have to put more resources into it. but i don't think there's anything wrong with the social security system. the problem is where the government will get the billions of dollars to make it work. the same is true on medicaid. the government will have to do more as the population grows. they have a system now that works. the question is, there would just have to expand it a little more. host: our guest also writes for "the washington journal" and you work for the center for policy
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analysis. guest: our organization is a think tank that works out of dallas, texas. it works on health care. we also work on taxation and the environment, global warming. we have a broad range of policies. i have been involved with this for about 20 years, but the organization has been about 25 or 35 years until it began. we raise the money from people who are interested in getting a study done, or they see something we have done like this petition. we find people who would like to help us expand host: that are the individuals, corporations?
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guest: almost all individuals. occasionally, we get hired by some company to do a steady, but that is a normal practice in public policy. we have about 25 employees, but it has grown enormously. we began with the goodman couple in a room in texas. that was a long time ago. it has an office here in washington, and a big office in dallas. host: good morning, nancy. caller: good morning, i think the solution is to have more competition among the insurance companies. one way to do that is to allow people to buy policies from other states.
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that would bring down the cost because there would be more competition among companies to get you to join their policy. another thing, with 46 million who are uninsured, 15 to 20 million of those are illegal immigrants. the democrat-controlled congress cares more about the illegal immigrants than the legal immigrants. they want to conclude the illegals in their legislation. we will not stand for that. you should come to this country legally. now, what do say to have more competition? in other words, let us allow the
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people to buy policies from other states? host: we will get a response. guest: first, there are about 10 million non-citizens who do not have health insurance. you're right. the health insurance program ought to be focused on american citizens. you become an american citizen and there should be healthcare access. i think your other point is even more important. why do we have the country who says you can only buy health insurance in your state? we would be better off with national competition. let all the companies in various states come forward to issue policies to anyone. there is a bill by congressman to get that done.
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host: do you think drug manufacturers should be allowed to advertise? has it increased the cost of prescriptions? guest: drug manufacturers do advertise. yes, they are in business and not to be able to advertise their product and talk about how good it is. it is competitive. people decide from their advertisements whether they like this or that one. you do not want the government to come in to decide companies are not allowed to say things. caller: hello, mr. dupont. i have a question. senator max baucus received $3 million from the insurance industry since 2002 and the believe the money helps them to
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get elected to his post. if i were to run for the senator from illinois and i had $3 million from lacrosse blue shield and went to washington, whose side you think would be on? guest: well, i hear what you're saying. the most important thing is that everybody running for office ought to have to make full disclosure of their campaign resources. . .
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>> in afghanistan an official says that official forces dropped down on the house from helicopters to free a reporter who along with his transmitter was taken hostage on saturday. the officials say that the transmitter and a commando died in the rescue. washington's chief envoy to the atomic energy agency's peaking earlier says the u.s. has serious concerns that iran is a deliberately trying at a minimum to preserve and nuclear weapons option.
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it moves iran closer to a destabilizing, possible break out capacity. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> some republican members of congress take part in a health- care rally today on capitol hill, receiving a petition from the national center of policy analysis and the salem radio network. speakers include several. live coverage at 2:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3. president obama speech to a joint session of congress tonight about health care at 8:00 p.m. eastern, though the coverage starts at 7:30 p.m. eastern here on c-span. we will take your phone calls after the president's speech, and the republican response. >> as the debate over health care continues, c-span is
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healthcare hub is a key resource. you can go online, follow the latest tweets, and share your thoughts on the issue with your own citizen video. you can include video from any town halls you have attended. there is even more at the site. "washington journal" continues. host: we continue our conversation on health care with richard. guest: great to be here this morning. host: let me ask you about divisions or debate between the democratic party. there are significant differences between liberals and moderates. mike ross says he will not support a public option. other democrats say that if the public option is eliminate, as many as 100 democrats will vote against the health care proposal.
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where are we? guest: most democrats are very supportive of of the president's plan. it has passed through three house committees and one committee of the senate. the democratic party is big. it is bigger than it has been in a long time. no republicans are willing to support this reform for purely ideological reasons, therefore that 20% or so of democrats are the ones we're looking at. yes, there are differences between the majority of democrats to support the president's proposal and a smaller group with reservations. host: you just heard the former governor dupont talked about
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his petition with 1.3 million signatures for those who oppose it. how important is this to the overall debate? guest: it is an essential part of reform. private insurance has filled the country in terms of cost control and access to good care. premiums have gone up four times as much as wages, more than that in many states. a recent report from california says one of five claims were denied by hmo's just in order to enhance insurance company profits, overruling your doctor. the public option is essential. having good benefits require. having insurance regulation. there is a lot to this. host: one of the views this morning, the perils of max
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baucus care -- in essence, this will of the federal government to control the health-care market. guest: we're talking about regulating private health care insurance. the wall street journal does not believe in any government regulation of anything. we're talking about not allowing companies to sell products which are lousy for your help. by now insurance companies can sell products that are not there when you need it. there is a reason why 60% of families that go bankrupt are because of medical costs. most of them actually have health insurance, but it is not there when they need it. one serious illness and it is gone. host: is medicare working? guest: yes. we have national health insurance for people 65 and over, that is a public option, government-run health care for seniors. the reason we do not have
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seniors going bankrupt or without coverage is because of medicare. medicare inflation is a little more than 4%. private is more than 7%. medicare is a huge success and we have that national health care for seniors. we're not asking that for everyone else. we're asking for a choice, not only to be stuck with private insurance, but having a public option. host: what will the president say? guest: he will continue to confirm his commitment to care that works. he will want to provide guaranteed, good coverage, affordable, regulating the private industry so it cannot deny care, and one of the ways to control prices and keep companies honest is to give people the choice of a public option.
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host: is ultimately what congress and the president are looking at incremental change overhaul, or massive changes to america's health-care system? how would you describe what they're looking at? you can add a fourth. guest: overhaul is probably right. first of all, the most important thing is it will change for americans -- they will have a guarantee of good coverage there when needed. it will not have to anymore worry about being in a situation where if they lose their jobs, change jobs, son or daughter graduate from college that there will not have insurance. that is a huge and fundamental change between the social contract between the government and the people. . .
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you can also send us an e-mail, or twitter at twitter.com/cspanwj. as you follow this debate, you are seeing a lot of deals being dug in, especially by blue dog democrats to say that they are not going to go along with us. >guest: take a look at what happened in the energy and commerce committee. in 1994, president clinton's
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bill and died in the energy and commerce committee when the equivalent blue dogs back and said no. in 2009, energy and commerce passed a bill with blue dog, and joined a union the amendment with a majority of democrats in the committee. this is not 1994. democrats know they have to pass health care reform, and i believe they will do one that will meet the president's goals. host: blair is the funding coming from? guest: funding comes from the community organizations, think tanks, that groups, and also some other foundation. host: liberty city, fla., on the democratic line. caller: i noticed you stated medicare is working which means social security is working. when we think of the middle class, we think about how they
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were established from the times and the pilgrims came over. you have been in a class that is basically a religious, and another middle-class that honors the power structure, who would do anything that those in power tell them to do. so we have this going on for a few hundred years. it comes down to cut your nose to spite your face. why, if someone knows they need help -- a middle-class -- why would they cut their nose to spite their face? is this a tradition to allow the children to also fall into that pattern when they are saying,
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no, mom, no, that, you did not help the system, what are you allowing us to -- hurt the system? i think it is good to have your kind of organization to be able to help transition. do you think we should all of these young people to voice their opinions, but and then be hushed? host: we get your point, thank you. guest: we believe the children need to listen to the president and here but he has to say about doing well in school. in terms of health care for the middle class, yes, what is important what the president is supporting it is it means everyone will have a guarantee of good coverage. you will not have to worry about
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losing coverage because you lose your job. these are fundamental middle- class guarantees. the people opposed to reform are also -- often hearing lies on the other side, and their only weapon is citing fear. they do not want a government that works for the people, instead of special interests. host: as you know, 60 votes is pretty key in cloture votes. ben nelson, who this year alone, has defected from the democratic party on 32 procedural votes, says, and do not count on me. caller: i am pretty sure that he will see 60 boats. there should be an interim appointment for senator kennedy's seat.
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i think what senator nelson and other democrats have to say is, and i'm going to be the person that will allow a filibuster to happen when we have an opportunity to fix coverage, regulate the private industry? they may get to vote against it at the end, but i believe we are voting -- looking at a lot of posturing and politics. in the end, it will be something that the president wants. host: rose from phoenix, arizona. caller: earlier he read a piece from the newspaper that said each responsible -- individual will be responsible for paying into insurance. host: that was from the so- called baucus plan.
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for example, tax credit would b issued to low and middle income individuals. about $950 per individual, up to $3,800 per family. caller: in saying that, the guess that you were speaking to, he did not mention that in one of the proposals, and did not say how the government with nature and that was being paid into the system. someone said that the irs would be in control, making sure the payments were made. host: ok, i think we understand your point. when now social security is taken from your paycheck, and
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then the government could force people not in a program to pay. caller: i have another question regarding town hall meetings. if you bring all of these people into our health care system, there would not the end of doctors and nurses. barney frank from massachusetts had said that what they would do is bring in 50,000 doctors from other countries. that shocked me. your guest said republicans are not interested in getting a good education, that they are against social security. you also said republicans do not want government to serve the people. i think all of those things are
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blatant lies. you are not even in the congress, so i do not know why you would say that. host: ok, we will get a response. caller: i appreciate your question. one question is making sure how everyone has coverage. as long as health care is affordable -- that is an important point. we want to cover everyone in the system but we needed to be affordable. the house bill, which we believe works the best, if you are at work, your employer will be required to give you good coverage and will have to pay a reasonable portion of your coverage. if not, they need to pay into the system so that you can get coverage outside of work. that will be based on your income, as it is
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affordable, and will be required the second question -- will be required. the second question, about doctors. it is true that we don need more doctors and nurses to care for those people. first of all, we will have a shift of people that were used to go into the emergency room go into primary care doctors them. -- more investment in primary care, bringing new doctors and providers into the system. it will be several years before this kicks in. there will be some transition, but one thing that you will not have to change it is getting in your doctor. your last question, we understand the government work for all of us and we are looking
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for both parties to understand that. one of the hallmarks of that our systems like social security, which president bush wanted to privatize republicans say they want to replace medicare with vouchers. there is a debate in the country and most americans want to see the government working for us, not special interests. host: we have this comment from twitter. guest: first of all, we are not creating national health care in the sense of one national health care system that everyone is, but i want to remind you medicare is nationalized, and people loved it. this is again one of these lies. it is totally within congress's
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power to make the changes that the president is supporting. host: next phone call from lexington, ky. caller: good morning. host: we can hear you. caller: i have lived in a lot of these countries that you are talking about, and no system is perfect. many of them are good. for example, there are doctors in britain. in america, we spend the most and we get the best treatment to the people on the top, but not to people who cannot afford it,
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or to people who do not have insurance. that is one. 01 to discuss. -- that is one point i want to discuss. 25% of the people are in private insurance. i like the canadian system. it is the best and probably the cheapest. the question about control of the government. someone was saying that government would interfere. host: perhaps you could pick up on that point of government interference. guest: it is important to look at what the president will say
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to congress. people should be covered at work, it should be decent, and a limit to out of pocket costs, and your employer needs to pay decent part of it. if they do not provide it, they need to direct you to the marketplace. nell cahn of pocket costs, no turning down because of pre- existing conditions. your only choice is not the private insurance companies. talking about a government takeover of health care, that is not happening. we are going to have health care reform that reflects what works in america and fixes what does not. host: the president has said if you like your insurance, you can keep it, but what is going to keep an employer from switching from private insurance to the
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government-run insurance? the worry is that the chair will not be as good. guest: this is not a choice that your employer will make. this is a twist that you will make. right now there is no obligation to provide coverage, and that is why most people who are uninsured -- who are insured or working. now it has to either provide coverage or pay for it. in terms of what your employer will do, most of them will not have access to the public access plan, just continue to have access to private. the day your employer will keep you in the private you are in. if you do not have coverage now, you will have a choice of private or public. host: healthcareforamerica.org. michael kirsch is the director of that campaign. next phone call.
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caller: there were three things i wanted to ask. [unintelligible] guest: we have submitted lot of petitions. in june there was a petition of half a million signatures for the public option that was submitted. in just 48 hours we ever able to collect a quarter million signatures, and we sent that to the president. we asked him to stick to his guns. americans want choice. they do not want to be stuck with a private insurance system which has failed america, and we are seeing a huge outpouring of support for these types of programs. we believe the president will
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continue to support these things. caller: my other question was, do you think they are going to pass this on, rather than a federal public option, if it goes, to a state public option? here is why i do not like it. in missouri, with schip, the need to be without insurance for six months. that is the most irresponsible thing to expect people to take their children off of insurance for six months because they cannot afford it to get the schip. i called claire mccaskill, and she said that it could be a state thing. guest: you are right that we have to do this on a national level. states have two problem. one, enormous budgetary pressures, and that is why
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missouri is making you wait. states, even more than the federal government, tends to be subject to lobbying from insurance companies and special interest. the health insurance industry has over 200 million customers. we need only a national public health insurance option to compete with them and keep them honest, as well as forcing them to cover. host: next phone call from detroit, michigan. [inaudible] guest: the president was a community organizer which means that she spent time with people in middle and low income communities. the american people voted for a man in november
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caller: does health care conform to the comparative paradigm? mr. dupont was on before. let's say she has a stroke and falls to the street in washington. he is now aphasia. he cannot speak. do ambulances go by anti auditions which one will pick him up? when he goes into the emergency room, how does the addition doctors to see which doctor will take care of him? my point is obvious. consumers are not normal consumers and vendors are not normal vendors. this whole argument is crazy.
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guest: you sound like me. it is right. health care marketplaces are not like other marketplaces. the vote -- the reason we of the most expensive health-care system in the world and quality that is lacking so far behind as we are the only country that consists of looking at health care as a commodity. when you shop for a car, that is a commodity. you can pick between different cars that meet your budget and need. do you want to enter the up -- health care system -- if i asked you if you would rather have prostate cancer or a heart condition? which would you rather the side? we do not enter the system by choice and once we are there we do not want to be consuming based on lowest price. we want the best quality care and we are tufting doctors and others to help us out. absolutely right. we need a combination of regulated insurance and
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government run health care. that is what we're looking to do in the country. host: two points in the "new york times." the president needs to be more like rocky. the journalist makes this point -- is the president holding firm on what you are looking for? guest: so far, and we expect him to stay firm tonight. i think he will come down swinging. he certainly did that on monday in cincinnati when he talked about stopping the lies, this campaign of misinformation, campaigning to protect their special interests. i expect the president to come out swinging to make it clear to the public what he wants to see tonight. host: richard kirsch, thank you for joining us. one of the headlines this morning from the state newspaper in south carolina is the
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resignation request of gov. sanford. he pointed out that the state could be bogged down in an embattled governor's distraction. we will speak more with kevin, and given he conducted an interview with governor -- cohen and he conducted an interview with governor sanford. we will be back with more of your phone calls. >> the supreme court has a rare, special session today hearing oral argument on a campaign finance case. it also marks the first appearance on the bench for justice sonia sotomayor. here is justice clarence thomas on what it means to add a new justice. >> as far as the composition of
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the court, you are basically bringing in -- this work could be over use -- a family member -- and it changes the family. it is different today from when it was my first got here. i have to admit, you grow fond of the court that you spend a long time on. there was a time there with chief justice rehnquist, justice o'connor -- when we are gone, we will have had a long run together, and you get comfortable with that. now it is changing again. so the institution is different, your reaction is different. you have to start over. chemistry is different. >> hear from other justices during supreme court week.
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host: we have 20 minutes or so. we want to open up the phone lines so that you can tell us what you are thinking about. the president's speech tonight, of course, live coverage here on this network. the house and senate back in session today. democrats, 202-737-0002. republicans, 202-737-0001. independents, 202-628-0205. front page of the "wall street journal" --
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this from the "new york times." if photograph from afghanistan, in this update, britain, france, and germany, urging the u.n. to go ahead with a conference. prime minister gordon brown sending a letter to you and secretary general, calling for a meeting to discuss the aftermath of the elections. observers in the cast of on the figures that gave hamid karzai a
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51% majority, warning that the new results were severely tainted by large scale ballot stuffing. the tone call from virginia. caller: i was hoping to catch mr. kirsch. i was trying to call him held on a few things. it just shocked me how much misinformation and half truth he was speaking. it is ironic because one of the the cliche bylines from someone on that side of the spectrum is to talk about all the lights coming from the right, as well as special interest. i must have heard that three times. really? you are going there? who do you think the unions are? who do you think the soros, moveon.org are? seriously?
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he talks about all of these half truths, but i did not hear anything, from him and was even mostly true. host: did you see pete du pont earlier? caller: i thought he made some good points. at least he was not using pure emotion and unfounded rhetoric to make his case. you have to have some form of evidentiary argument. host: thank you. pittsburgh just hosted the afl- cio meeting. later on they will be hosting an 80-20 -- the g-20 summit.
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next phone call. john from charlottesville, virginia. caller: thank you for c-span. and all the rhetoric that is going on, i hope that people will look at what is happening over a long period of time. insurance companies -- and there are not all bad, but there are some bad habits happening with them. i have always had insurance. i come back from overseas to get another job, i get sick, do not have insurance -- guess what? it is hard to get insurance. i got lucky where i got another job where i could not be discriminated against, but i would have been that is something that people do not see. you could be next. host: thank you. from "politico" christopher dodd will stay on as chairman banking
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committee secretary. tom harkin could be the possible successor to the health education committee. inside, a former imam at the buzzer, ben smith, rights, -- writes -- larry from tennessee. thank you for joining us. caller: 0 wanted to make some comments.
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i believe the united states can do better than french in their health care coverage. -- france in their health care coverage. i believe there should be more doctors. the educational system that restricts the number of doctors, the number of students coming into the doctor field, in turn, reduces the number of doctors available. the number of students -- if they feel they can be a doctor, they should be able to try. if they can pass a test with everybody else then we could have more doctors in the country. host: front page in the "l.a. times" --
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next phone call from james. richmond, va. caller: thank you for letting me voice my opinion. sometimes i think, if a president of someonis a elected, they consider it a landslide and do not consider the other 49%. i would like to see the government working for everyone. second, these commercial they are running for health care, i wonder who is paying for that? if i have my own insurance and have the right to pick what ever i want, do i have to pick someone else's insurance also?
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host: i will let it stand as that. on the front page of canada's newspaper "the globe and mail" -- in german and french leaders calling on the united nations to investigate the future of the afghanistan, and also looking to elections from last month. next phone call. caller: i am an avid c-span junkie, but i get frustrated when i hear people talking about half truths. yesterday, i was listening to a congressperson from maryland, and talking about how republicans wanted to support this. i am an independent, so i do not like either one. it upsets me when you see someone being unchecked on c-
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span. people keep on talking about race. i am sick and tired of them interjecting race. it is destroying the country. president obama is half white, half black. he is representing both of us, all of us. for everyone to say that everything is racial -- even charlie rangel is talking about race. we have to get on top of this thing. i wish we could have more checks and balances because we are listening to a congressman say something on your channel, and then on and cnn they say something else. host: we try our best, but having you, other viewer, is an advantage. from the money section in "usa today" --
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that is inside "usa today." michael from huntington, new york. caller: thank you for letting me speak. i would like to bring up the fact that the supreme court will be taken up a case of the corporation which put out a movie during the election on hillary clinton. this is an important point. be aware. if the supreme court makes a similar decision like it made in 1978, when it decided $1, one vote, that money was equivalent
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to speech, now they are going to decide if they can decide in favor of corporations have an equal rights to speak as people. that means corporations can put anything they want on you, and no one can say anything about it. it would be a takeover of the country by corporations. also, the person who asked whether his health care would be paying for other people's health care -- it already does. it is called the palmer into a room. host: thank you. your phone call gives us a chance to remind the viewers of other c-span networks covering those supreme court cases. citizens united vs. federal election commission. the hearing takes place today. oral arguments begin at 10:00 eastern time. at the conclusion of oral
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arguments, we will have audio, and let you listen in to the discussion. we will also re-air it this weekend. again, the oral arguments get underway at 10:00. once the audio is fed down the network pool one, we will provide it to you. when the court grants a request by networks, we have the chance to listen in to what is being said, so again, to and in at 11:30. next phone call. caller: i am a first-time caller. there is a small town in
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kentucky. people have medicare, medicaid. they built these multimillion- dollar buildings for all of these doctors. they are tested for anything and everything. the medicine is about $300 per person. there are people who cannot eat because they have to buy their medicine or vice versa. i'm satisfied with my insurance. we need to do some checking around and see where this money is going to. the medicine is just being wasted. my insurance will cover me taking a prescription, so why is the government not checking in on these doctors prescribing all of this medicine? and i cannot do it because i have a deductible i have to pay. therefore, i do not go to the doctor as often as i need to.
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host: how often do you go? caller: a couple of times a year. but it is sad to see all of this medicine in bags. heart medications, $250 per prescription? our government even pays for tylenol. you have to do something for yourself, i do not think we should have to pay for it all. host: lisa from portsmouth, ohio. caller: i am a small business owner and i cannot afford health care to cover my staff. is this going to be a mandate that small business owners must pay for a portion or all of that? how would it work? we try to provide jobs to people and the government want to do that, but they want us to do everything. two years ago they raised
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minimum wage in ohio. democrats said it could be a livable wage. it is not, and it never will be. i have people on minimum wage that are trying to live on their own, they get their health care provided, food stamps, and now the government wants us to pay for health care? host: let me read you some of the details from the washington -- "washington post." they talk about max baucus -- he has until 10:00 today to come up with this solution that would acquire --
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rather cut from jefferson, new york. -- veronica from jefferson, n.y.. caller: i am a widow in new york and i will be 65. i hope i can get medicare. my husband was disabled when he was very young. a ham was not covered because -- i was not covered. i have never been covered and i have not had health care since 1992. i know i should go to the doctor many times. i just played something has to be done with the health care system.
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i own a small house in upstate new york. if anything were to happen to me before i receive medicare, i do not know what would happen. in order to get medicaid in new york -- and i am considered single now, even though i was married for 42 years. you can only earn $6,700 a year. i only earn $16,000 a year. i have tried to contact different places to see what i could afford but everything was totally out of price. i hope something can be done. host: we are going to open up the phone lines after the
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president speaks to hear what you have to say. the president's speech should be about 40 minutes. chris from silver spring. caller: i think a public option should be in the 0-based -- ngo-based. tax credits should be provided to farmers, medical suppliers. i have five plants i could choose from but i notice my medicare taxes are going up on my pay stub. i think you probably should have a simple bill and we will not have to worry about the defense system. we just need to come up with a more american system. that would be better for all. host: mark twain, he is the
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subject of this roll-call cartoon. making sausage in health care reform. next is to and from south running, virginia. caller: i wanted to comment on a position that governor dupont seemed to have, which is responding to qualify saying, you do not want a government plan because everything is going to slow down. then there was a dumb and who said that his wife had to wait for a doctors appointment. his advice was, call your governor and get them involved. it was amusing to me that his advice to the gentleman was to get the government involved, they will speed things up. previously, he had been saying the opposite. host: are you listening on c- span radio? did you have another point?
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caller: yes, i wanted to talk about the public option as far as competition with private plans. the people involved in the public option are people who are uninsured now. so there is no competition. they are people who will be unemployed or complete by small business who do not offer a health plan. perhaps persons who simply choose not to pay for health insurance because they are not concerned about it. they have that feeling of invincibility i do not feel like there will be any real competition for private practices with any kind of public plan. host: kathleen with this tweet --
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host: kristen from youtah. caller: good morning. i have three children. my family pays for our own health insurance. we pay over $1,000 per month. we do not have very much money, but we are happy to do that. the last speaker really upset me when he said he is speaking for all, most americans. he said the government should run our health care, and that we want this. how can he say that most people want this? he does not know that. you know, we pay this much, and
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we do it gladly. we do not want the government to control our health care. we do not feel the government is capable of doing this. host: again, this from the " state newspaper" from the republican leader in the house -- kevin cohen, who had a conversation with the governors today, will be joining us at the bottom of the hour. patty from houston. good morning. caller: i am glad i got behind the young lady paying one belsen dollars. -- $1,000. i worked for kmart for over 20 years and i have bluecross
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blueshield. when i retired, they wanted me on a cobra, i have four kids, and i could not even afford $300 per month. so i had to get out of insurance. right now i have medicare, and that is great. my husband had a hospital stay one time and i did not have to pay for that. he was in the hospital for two weeks, and it was $183,000. i did not even have to pay -- to cope i was just $300. -- the code pay was just $300.
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if she can afford $1,000 a month, she is working. they are being so selfish. this public option would help them lower their price. she must be very well off. if she had insurance that was reasonable for everyone, she would not have to pay all this money. if you have to pay a party -- aarp -- if my husband had a toothache, he would have to pay $20 a month. that could save $500. i do not know what she is talking about. so many people do not have insurance and would love to have insurance that they can afford. i am on a fixed income also and i cannot afford that. there was a lady who said she
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was disabled and could not afford hurt insurance. she just has a little house. if they had affordable insurance, she could be ok. a lot of these people are only thinking about themselves. i think everyone should be able to get affordable insurance. if they can afford it -- host: those will be part of the details, as we hear them coming from max baucus, a member of the party of six. one twitter comment saying -- finally, one photograph from the "new york daily news" --
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a response to the speech on their first day of school. when we come back, we will speak to michael scherer from "time" magazine. the enemy was big to kevin cohen about his interview with south carolina gov. mark sanford. first, a news update. >> a massachusetts legislator named an interim a placement to fill the late ted kennedy policy. supporters plan to press lawmakers to allow the ball after to make the appointment. critics say they will not let the proposal unchallenged, calling it a political power grab from democrats to in short enough votes to pass a plan. the report finds taxpayers' losses on loans that the government made to the auto industry. most of the $23 billion
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initially given to gm and chrysler is not likely to be repaid. the oversight panel reported to be released today. . the change of command ceremony takes place aboard the uss dwight eisenhower. those are some of the latest headlines. >> some republican members of
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congress take plat -- part in a health-care rally today on capitol hill, receiving a petition opposing public health care options. speakers include michael medved and radio hosts and house minority leader john boehner. president obama speaks to a joint session of congress tonight about health care at 8:00 p.m. eastern although the coverage starts at 7:30 p.m. live on c-span and also on line at c-span.org and c-span radio. we will take your calls after the speech and the republican response. >> as the debate over health care continues, c-span's healthcare hub is a resource. watch the latest events, including town hall meetings, and share your thoughts with your own citizen video, including video from any town halls and you're going to.
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there is more at c-span.org /health care. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we welcome the white house correspondent for "time" magazine. how did the speech come together? guest: there was a debate after the august recess on when should the debate -- president take charge and control of the debate, which really ran away after the august break. initially when the president returned from martha's vineyard, a number of aids were suggesting that the speech be delayed a week because we had the september 11 anniversary and the anniversary of the lehman brothers collapse coming up. but the president himself said i want to go right away, as soon as congress is back. the goal is to reclaim the middle ground here, which is what has been lost.
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host: you wrote "this is what barack obama does -- guest: in the last six weeks we have had six or so town halls that the president has done. a lot live on television. he has done a number of press conference as prime time, including in july. going back to the same moves, thinking his own communication skills can take him over the hump. there is a question whether there are diminishing returns, whether the american people at some point will get tired of the president and his major
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addresses. host: you conclude with this point -- guest: there are two tracks -- one is the legislative track. the other is public support. over all this we have seen a diminishment of public support among those people on the center of the political spectrum. this is targeted to those voters in the hopes it will give political cover for a compromise in the senate, which looks increasingly likely over recent days. >> one of those democratic
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senators, ben nelson, from nebraska, saying don't look to me to be one of the 60. guest: on sunday he said he may be amenable to the trigger on the public option. he has never been a big fan of this. he is a former insurance commissioner. he comes from the industry. he is very skeptical of the government role in health insurance. i think the problem with covering from the outside these internal investigations, you take these clues. one looks positive and negative and you can get scattered. it i think we will find out in the next two or three weeks whether the senate -- senate can, with a deal. they really want to get 60. it is not clear how the math works out. if they don't, it is clear the white house used reconciliation, which is 51. host: who is working on the speech? guest: it has been going in the
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white house a number of different -- among the number of different aides. the key people will look it over, in addition to his speech writers are the communications director, david axelrod, political adviser, and robert gibbs. host: what do you think we will hear from the republican response? guest: so far they have taken a pretty hard line. use all that over august where the republican national committee released a seniors bill of rights, mentioning this idea of death panels or said something like that that would ration care for the elderly. the republican caucus has set up a fact check system. they will live blog the speech. i think you will see from the bulk of republicans, sort of predictable disappointed responses afterward. the republicans that matter at this point, though, are very few.
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talking about people like olympia snowe and susan collins, who may be enough to get to 60. at this point, we are not going for an 88-vote majority in the senate. the republicans that matter are just those few swing votes in the senate right now. host: all the cable news network's gehring it live and broadcast caring it live, except fox. guest: they have a cable network -- and cw will be doing "americas next top model." i think they did the last couple. the business decision is obvious -- it is better to make money on ads and then to give an hour to prime time right as the fall season is coming out. and the fox audience skews incredibly conservative and is less interested.
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and fox has the advantage of having two channels. they can go with the news network and people who want to watch it on fox can walk in there and people who don't care to watch whatever they will be programming. host: do you think as we move forward with nbc say we will stick to entertainment and put our news on msnbc? guest: i guess it could. but the nbc network, like fox news is conservative, nbc is doing more toward liberal audiences. you saw that actually in the coverage of the ted kennedy death. fox didn't like it up that much, because for their audience it was not a momentous occasion. for an snb say, and the extent nbc covered it -- msnbc, and the extent nbc covered, it is pretty much catering the demographics. host: monique is joining us from washington, d.c.
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caller: thank you cable companies for c-span. i want to make a short comment and ask a question. i want president obama to literally break down why we need a public option for those who haven't gotten it yet. because i have. i am a united states postal employees. i have been for the past several years. my employer has paid over $60,000 in health-care benefits for myself, including the $33 i paid biweekly. for the past seven years my medical bills totalled $13,000. where is the rest of the money? this is what i think president obama is trying to get to the american people. the insurance companies are literally breaking us down. they are breaking down. so, please -- my american brothers and sisters, we have to tackle this issue.
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guest: i would just say, i think the president will agree with you that there has been a communications problem. he will mention the public plan tonight. he will make another big push. it is increasingly unlikely he will get a clean public plan. it looks like a charter mechanism will be built in, only if insurance companies -- private insurance companies don't perform to a certain level, the public option will be put in place. there is misunderstanding -- the public option as it is being talked about is really just for people who are in the individual market and to don't have insurance now and are not in serious poverty. medicaid would be expanded to cover those who are very low income. the people who are already getting insurance from employers will continue. it will not be initially -- depending on how it is written -- pushing to some sort of public plan are really have the option of going to public plan because they continue to take it from their employer. we are talking about a pretty
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narrow segment of the population who don't have health insurance now or have trouble getting it. host: jay is joining us from the independent line from las vegas. caller: one quick question. my first question is, i am, as you know, from a republican state. right now the governor or senator are not caring about the children who are suffering, as far as health care and education. i really think president obama was very smart to kind of tie those two together because they are important. our kids need to be well to go to school and they need to be having some type of good education so that they can -- i hate to say it like this, the people of the republican party are trying to segregate us here
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in this state, literally by brown and black and other nationalities that are open to president obama. he is our president and people need to respect that fact. host: you are calling from nevada, home state of the senate democratic leader who is up for reelection next year and already a target by nrnc. caller: i understand that they are hard on him. with my question, though, i wanted to know what can he do to really get into the republican party's mindset right now? guest: you point it is something that is a real issue. republicans as a party and as a
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bloc decided to not support this effort and use this as a way to really dig into president obama's initial promises of being able to bring the country together and move beyond politics as usual. the president has been a struggle this summer to fulfil the promises. the flip side is that there is real -- there could be real liability because health care reform, broadly spoken, the broad principles, is rather popular across the country. use all polls in 50% to 6% range -- you solaw the polls. what looks like a loser now could be a winner in next fall if it is past. and house members that would against it could find themselves defending their vote against dumping that people are excited about. host: we have seen this story develop over the last 24 hours.
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from time.com -- i want to continue on your point. but how would that work? guest: one of the big guy lemmas is how to pay for this. the president said he wanted to be revenue neutral -- one of the big dilemmas. it would have to be paid for by a tax. this proposal saying those spending a lot of money tax- free through their employers on health insurance plans -- not basic plans, but provides more coverage -- should not be getting a tax benefit. we can collect it back. by taking a back, we will raise revenues. host: you went on to say --
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who would provide the coverage, who would help them pay for it, and if you don't get coverage, who would make sure those fines are implemented? guest: this is the biggest, most important part of reform. because it is complicated, it has gotten lost. under the max baucus plan and what the house proposed in the senate health committee proposed, there will be an expansion of medicaid for lowest income. 100 and betty 3% roughly -- we did not know exactly -- 133% roughly of the party level will be covered under an existing public plan, such as medicaid. the question is, what they do about the people who are not extremely poor but who can't right now afford health insurance in the private marketplace?
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for that group, the government will start off on subsidies. the debate between max baucus' committee and others is how much money is the government willing to lay out. right now the plan, as it has been released, for instance, up to 300% to poverty, $66,000 for a family of four, would get government help, if you are making more you would not get the same subsidies you would get if the house plan rules. they have subsidies up to 400% of party. the key is the idea that all americans would have to get health insurance. there would be a penalty if you don't. there are exemptions if you can't afford it. almost all will be private health insurance but health insurance would become like count -- car insurance now. if your own a car you have to get insurance and here are the
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options. host: guest is michael scherer, white house correspondent to "time" magazine. next, from concord, california. you are getting at all because you have the volume of. if you could turn it down, we could hear you much better. caller: just one question. what is the republican plan? guest: the republicans have issued a number of principles and a number of ideas. they would like to move away from the current system, which is employer-based system for most people, so that tax credits would go directly to individuals and they would be able to buy insurance on the private marketplace as individuals. they have also said they want to reduce certain rules that don't
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allow insurance to be sold across state lines, thinking that by breaking down state lines you would have a lot of -- better competition, and therefore from a low or prices. there isn't a piece of legislation, though. there are these principles, proposals. there is not a piece of legislation that has been developed along these lines. one of the interesting things about health care which makes it different from the early 1990's when clinton's efforts failed is that over the last four or five years, there was a pretty broad consensus built among large businesses, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, labor unions, a number of interest groups in d.c. about how we can deal with in broad strokes health care reform. most of those reforms, contained in all of these different packages, don't adopt those conservative principles that republicans have been pushing. host: joseph is joining us on
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the republican line from jamestown. caller: thank you for taking my call and thank you for c-span. i would like to make a comment and i will hang up and listen to your response to that. i'm a republican. i registered as one when i was old enough to register, 30 years ago, and that is because i believed in government but i also believed in a small government and i did not believe in government waste. at the time during the carter administration about the was a lot of government waste and nonsense. however, i have stood out in the cold and north carolina and elected obama solely -- not solely but primarily to promote his health-care reform. what i would like to say to my fellow republicans out there who are befuddle or afraid is that this whole step toward a public option -- if you will allow week -- may, i will try to make it
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quick. it is our president's effort to fill in the final gatt of people who do not -- do not have insurance. guest: that is true. but it is in part also to know that his president has said and his advisers said that the public option, although it is something they want to see, is a relatively small part of health care reform. this group we are talking about, individuals who don't have insurance right now, would be able to get health care under private insurance subsidies from all of the plans, everything passed under the other committees. what the debate over the public option is that in addition to an exchange that allows people to go to a variety of insurance companies to get health care with government subsidies, one of those choices would be public option. it is not as if president obama is saying right now that all of the people who are uninsured would now be covered by a government insurance option. there is a lot of fine print. so depending on how the public insurance option is written it
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could be something that expand over time. but right now it is still a relatively minor point. you will see tonight with the president speaks in will again say this is important because it will keep private insurance companies competitive, put pressure on their ability to make outsize profits but not in the end going to be in a great deal. host: kurt from newark, ohio with michael scherer. caller: why do you think the government can do this when they cannot even take care of our american indians on a reservation? they had 100 years. they ran out of money in june to even cover these people. how do you think they can handle one sixth of our gross product. this is bs. guest: i am not going defendant anyway the u.s. government has handled native american issues of the years. there is no doubt the government has been a great failure in a
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number of areas. that said, -- so there is a risk, here. that said, though, is significant percentage of the american populace and right now are essentially getting their health care through government insurance options. there is a va, and medicaid, and people are generally not satisfied -- not dissatisfied. this is not creating a massive new entitlement -- public program as much as giving federal tax subsidies to individuals so they can buy private insurance. host: our next call is from atlanta. caller: i would just like to say we need to give the president and little more respect in america because everybody is watching america. we are supposed to be an example for other countries but we are not. the president is trying to
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provide insurance for those people who cannot afford insurance because of these rich insurance countries -- companies. most of the republicans are rich people, they don't understand. i am a 75-year-old african american woman who worked 52 years and i'm on medicare. i could not afford insurance if i had to pay that out of pocket. this is what this country needs to realize, stop republicans against democrats and democrats against republicans. we need to be one country united because the other countries are looking at us as leaders and right now we are not being a leader, we are being dividers. thank you. guest: certainly true that our system of government is sort of a full free speech zone in which it gets really ugly and often and may be more ugly more often in recent years than it
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has an a long time. i think the president and his aides in the white house will say it just comes with the territory. we are going to try to work our way through it. again, it will come down too rigid, people will watch the speech, what do they think of the president's -- it will come down to -- how many people will watch the speech? this is something one now, this is not something as cares me, this is not something that will take away my medicare or lead to the nile or rationing. is this something that will have to -- help the country? host: two final point. one of our regular viewers saying have you seen the support needed to answer the reconciliation process with the health care bill? and very quickly, explain that verses cloture. guest: generally in the senate you need 60 votes to get anything done.
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41 senators can block most anything from happening. there is an exception called reconciliation that was built into the process that could get things done with just a bare majority, 51. it is an option the president could use. they don't want to. host: why? guest: they want it sabine not as devices -- divisive as it would be under reconciliation. under reconciliation you can devise rules and pass up most of the reform hundred. you would have a breakdown of any idea of bipartisan unity. the other problem is you can only deal in a reconciliation with things that affect the budget. you can't get all health care reform put through in one bill. part will have to be set aside and another fight where you still need 60 votes. just much more complicated and ugly process. it is something the white house has reserved for an option but right now it is very clear they are still trying hard to get the 60 votes to get this done
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without reconciliation. politico host: question, what is reported -- host: political question, what is reported, one of democrat said he will not support the plan that includes a public option and then the progressive caucus -- i don't want to give the impression that i'm so flexible that and willing to compromise away meaningful reform, but the says that there may be a variety of ways of getting there. guest: i was at the white house yesterday and harry reid and nancy pelosi met with the present -- president. we asked nancy pelosi, very supportive of the public option, about the public option. she says, we want this in here. i asked, what about the trigger and the other compromises? she said, that is the legislative process. there is room for negotiation. no one is showing their hands
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saying this is what i am willing to give up. but i don't think not having a strict public option in this plan will sink it. host: thank you for putting this all in perspective in advance of the speech live here on c-span. appreciate your time. the other political story getting attention this wednesday morning can be found front-page of south carolina's largest newspaper, from columbia, south carolina, the republican speaker of the house is urging the republican gov. mark sanford to resign from office following revelation from june of this year of his extramarital affairs and the stories that followed. kevin cohen is from a radius station in south carolina. he will join us. but we will share with you an excerpt of his conversation with mark sanford on this revelation. >> you know, you can't judge another person's intent. he does what he does.
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i think there was something rational about what he said earlier, which was, let us let the ethics process work its way through. we have a group that is going to look at this and let us let them come out with what they think or don't think and then take steps accordingly. i think it is unfortunate. it is a bit premature. because, as i said, let us throw the obvious out there -- i had a real moral failure. south carolina has talked on and on about, and then more about it. i apologize about it, and again. we get to the point that we could go back and beat and reprimands and what not on that front. but the measure of all our lives is not when we fall down -- because we will fall down. but the question is, how we get back up. i think the question for all of us as south carolinians is where
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we go from here. we have a lot of opportunity. we actually have a chance for the first time in six and a half years to look at the issue of restructuring and say, make some changes and moving away from a really outdated model that really sets -- or are we going to make changes for spending caps or economic development? i think that as more important. i can't apologize more than i possibly have, and a lot of the other has been pure politics. if you go to the bottom line of where this administration has been on -- business class tickets, airplanes, all these things, we have a compellingly good record and i would like to explore that at some point during our visit over the hour. a compelling way strong record in watching out for the taxpayer and taxpayer interest.
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gov. host: mark sanford was on wvoc yesterday and a host is joining us from south carolina. will the governor resign? guest: i do not think he is going out on his own. i think what will happen is you'll see impeachment. what you heard from the senate republican -- i don't think the governor will go without being forced. host: who is bobby farrell, a republican speaker of the house? what is the relationship and what led to the letter yesterday? guest: bobby harrell has been speaker -- he took over from the person who became president bush
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posset ambassador to canada. he has been in a very high- powered position. in south carolina, we don't have the most powerful governor, by any means. the speaker of the house and the senate pro temp, those are the most powerful people in the state of south carolina. as a result they carry a lot of influence with fellow lawmakers, more so, i believe, then the governor. and the governor alienated so many people in the south carolina general assembly over the years that it emphasizes bobby harrell -- in this case hearing him post labor day making these comments, i really believe -- believe it indicates they will make impeachment a top priority. i personally have said in my audience at the regas station, they have been very adamant that impeachment is not the right answer. i think there has been a real shift over the past two months since this whole thing broke and became a huge national embarrassment, everybody was calling for is resignation.
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i have called for his resignation but to this day i still believe mark sanford should walk away. but i cannot support impeachment but i think most of the listeners of my riding program did not support impeachment, either, because we have some and other problems that we can't afford for the general assembly when it reconvenes in january to have to go through these proceedings. host: you tried to press it during your interview and when you're in a commercial break we continued to roll with your cameras. can you give us a sense of what your -- you gleaned? guest: i have known since he was a congressman down in charleston. that is interesting, because bobby harrell is also down from the charleston area so they have known each other for years. you would think there would be a stronger political alliance. but there is not. they have been pretty good rivals. and they have both taken -- which is fun for talk radio and the media -- they have both taken it to the media to air
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their differences on a number of occasions that of sitting down like grown men. it is fun for talk radio but i don't think it is productive for south carolina. i have personally spoken to the governor and i have to admit, a lot of times what happens are the commercial breaks or newsbreaks during a radio talk show is more interesting than what happens when you are on the air. i don't know if the guest feels he or she can let their guard down a little bit or just talk a little bit more openly. gov. sanford is pretty savvy. he knew the c-span cameras were still rolling so even he was guarded in what he was saying, but i did try to press him on that. i felt i had the responsibility sent to the news had just come out that body harrell was calling for the resignation -- bobby harrell. you can't -- host: you can watch that video on c-span.org. our guest -- his program, afternoon drive, airs 3:00 until
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6:00 eastern time. let us get back to the letter that the speaker of the house sent to gov. sanford. the daily trickle of allegations has shown there is no end in sight to the constant distractions caused by you remaining in office. he went on to say, your actions have amounted to a self- inflicted wound that has forced unnecessary suffering on the people of south carolina. guest: pretty good drama. those are some very guarded, carefully thought-out words on the part of the house speaker. there is no question that ever since gov. sanford came forward june 24 with his extramarital affair and made public and acknowledge all of it, no question that has been a tripling of this after the other and after the other. but i think it is slowing down. what i think now going on would be a political witch hunt. i am not saying that as an advocate of mark sanford, because i still think he should resign. but that said, i do think what is going on right now is much
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more a political witch hunt -- thus sharks kind of swimming in the water. we have an election coming up for 2010 for the governor's race. i think there is a lot of that to take into consideration. who is aligning themselves with home. i am going to support this guy, that person. mark sanford is not a candidate for 2010 but clearly people are trying to take up sides with five different republican candidates. i think that is a big factor. if you look at just the relationship the governor has had or lack of with our south carolina general assembly over the years, there are a lot of folks who say he has embarrassed the general assembly -- very popular governor. he does not have a lot of a resume to show for -- but before this became public he had 70% approval rate. he really used public sentiment against big government and the general assembly. i think there is a revenge factor, also. but i really think you are seeing people in the general
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assembly piling on right now, things the governor has done with travel and spending. and he has been such a watchdog. a very frugal governor. i think this is something that if it -- there wasn't the extramarital circumstance i do not think you and any way, shape, or form see this as a store because this is no different than the president should -- predecessor, and before that. they all had the same exact travel itineraries. this is no different than what they did. host: keven cohn joining us from south carolina. i want to follow up on something else you pressed him on, the 2010 elections. he indicated he didn't think he would be a factor in 2010. what was your reaction to his response? guest: i disagreed with them. i still do. he said his political career --
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in fact, the first time he use this " he was a month ago, he said, i am politically dead, i am a non-factor. i highly disagree. if i am a democratic strategist and i am running against the republican nominee, whoever the person is, i'm doing the same thing barack obama did in running against john mccain, which is run against george bush as much as you run against john mccain. i think they will show a republican, house controlled, senate controlled, and the governor's mansion all controlled by republicans and yet very little has gotten done in south carolina. we have 12% unemployment and it has been a real mess. i am a fairly conservative talk radio hosts but i did not see how anyone in the state's republican party and deny they had an opportunity being -- opportunity to do great things being in total control. you see the state economically. you add that to the scandal, and clearly i think if i'm a democratic strategist, i will use that against anyone running
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and saying, i am going to show pictures -- whether the congressman, state attorney general, they all had photo ops they have taken with gov. mark sanford. i will show those and everyone of my commercials and use them as an advantage. i disagree with gov. sanford on that wholeheartedly. host: before june, how serious was talk about a presidential bid in 2012? guest: i think there was much too beard i have asked him about on and off the air and i have talked a -- talk to him about it over the years just to gauge where he is out. no question this is something he was thinking about doing. i don't know that mrs. sanford was all that keen of the idea. part of the reasons why mark sanford said initial term limits when he went into washington and the house for representatives because i did not think she liked the washington lifestyle and enjoyed south carolina more.
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and the four children they have our young sons with one just before college. i don't think this was something in the and that mark sanford was going to do. but no question governor sanford was being talked about and that light and with his battle on the stimulus, he had intrigued a lot of strong conservatives as to whether or not he could be that guy that connects with america. i don't know if he would have had the on air charisma to battle with a president obama. i don't know if he is a good enough face-to-face debate. he is a very bright and intelligent man and i think he would've made an interesting candidate, but as obvious from the last 60 days, his political career will end when he leaves office in south carolina unless he is forced to leave before that. host: anthony, new haven connecticut. go ahead with your question. caller: thank you for "washington journal." i was watching the radio talk
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show before "washington journal." there was a caller that i agreed with. he asked -- or she asked -- i can remember -- how it will hurt the republican party. not just south carolina. we also have a senator in nevada that is a lot of trouble, but he is not up for election in 2010. i question is, i know you are conservative. i am conservative. but what governor sanford railed against president clinton, he is doing the same thing now. he had an affair. but in argentina. guest: true. caller: all of these moral values go aside when they are an office -- that is where i am frustrated with some people in the republican party. guest: anthony, i appreciate question. the thing i point out is that the most voters -- not all -- i think can separate the
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political party from the individual's and distractions -- individual's indiscretions. i don't think people will vote differently in new york with the governor's race comes along, based on elliott spitzer and what he did as a democrat. i do not think they will penalize the party for it because it happens to widespread on both sides of the aisle. i don't think they will label the republican party the party that cheats on their spouses or anything like that. it is too widespread. it is a shame when it happens in any capacity because it is just a tragedy to see a marriage with four young boys as their children basically get shattered and splashed across the media on a day-to-day basis, to see the young kids getting dragged through that and mrs. sanford, is very difficult. it is part of the game. when you enter into the world of politics you are acknowledging, this is part of it. my private life is going to be public. unfortunately the kids didn't have a choice. the whites didn't run for
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office, she didn't have a choice. -- the wife did run for office. i don't think people will penalize the republican party as a whole. for every mark sanford you trot out you can trot out a democrat. it happens. i do not condone it. i wholeheartedly condemn it as a married man, very happily married, i don't see it -- i don't acknowledge it. i will not get into the moral aspect, that is for each person to decide. but the bottom line from our perspective looking at it from south carolina, i don't think they will penalize the republican party because of mark sanford's sexual indiscretions. you can certainly judging what he has done politically play-by- play. but i don't think the condition as a republican saying he is a bad republican. host: mary from manchester, new jersey. caller: i'm curious. i have watched the this affairs
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of the broken watch gov. sanford when he appeared on c-span and spoke out about a variety of things. and i watched your interview, your radio interview with him yesterday. i am curious, from a different perspective, how destructive do you think he is as a man? his initial act of into that -- infidelity was destructive enough but this continuing public self flagellation, if you will, seems to been very destructive personally. host: before i have you respond, let me go back to interview. here's more from "afternoon drive" from wvoc. >> do you think you have done anything in people? i know we talked about what you have done more rarely, but in
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your opinion have done something in mpeachable. >> that is for others to decide. there have been eight governors in peach -- impeached, those are for things, taking money and buy property -- big, hundreds of thousands. there is certainly a world of difference of what happens in those instances and what has happened here. host: your response? guest: i look at the governor from impeachable stand point, i don't believe it. but self destruction -- there are people here trying to look at as much footage, c-span, what he has done locally and they have tried to put it through a psychologist and asked if this man has had a mental breakdown. when you look at the fact that your marriage has been publicly
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shattered, looking at your put -- career, we are not talking about a small councilman but we are talking about the face of a state who had been talked about as a candidate to being the most powerful person in the world, the president. a huge spiral and the short time. mark sanford, every time he seems to come in from of the camera -- this is what intrigues people -- everytime he opens his mouth he will be dissected and so many ways. to get to mary's point, i do think he has spiralled a little out of control and they had to reel him in. his handlers and the people trust most, he has been much more guarded. i think governor sanford is in a situation right now where if i were advising him, the only thing you talk about his politics at this point. stay away from anything personal. stay away from anything that is not on a focus because the more he seems to open his mouth, the more he seems to get in trouble.
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you can't dig your way out of this. host: why did he agree to go on your radio talk show yesterday? guest: he is continuing by doing the rotary clubs and different clubs around south carolina. he is trying to reconnect with people in a grassroots effort, give face-to-face time. he has been on my program really going back eight years when he was first candidate. he knows my audience has been fair with them -- if not, start. he also knows i have been very fair with him. i have supported a lot of his initiatives. when i do criticize him i do so in a constructive way and i give them a chance to answer fairly. i think he felt he was in a safe environment, instead of being ambushed by a talk-show host just looking for sensationalism or ratings and that is not my goal for any guest. i guess i would say he felt safe in the environment, he came on and answered the questions. i think he is trying to reconnect with people, but if i were his handler -- just like
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what he said on c-span over and over again -- i have apologized as much as i can for this. i think he has -- is right. there is no new way to say i am sorry for what he has done. the only thing at this point that can happen politically is for him to either regain the people's trust or not. it so, i think -- so, i think his intent is to get as much face-to-face-type meetings or even doing appearances like this. host: 8 you were from south carolina. jim from rock hill. -- a view or from caller: i took a survey. they once mr. sanford and peach. -- want him impeached.
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it is up for the state to work appeared -- to work. everyone says they are american but we belong to the union of the state of america. be proud. you are either in north america or south america -- you are in the union of the state's. always remember that. everybody should realize that right now. we are united, not divided. right now the country is being divided. we have a man in office, a good man, let him do what he has got to do. don't stop him. let him do it. everybody has got to be united now. if you are not denied that, you will be divided. host: let me use this opportunity to share with the audience another excerpt of an interview conducted yesterday with republican gov. mark sanford.
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more details of who was in contact with the governor when he traveled to argentina. >> a while ago whenever this message for started, your staff didn't know where you were and they did have contact with you. is that true? >> your staff did know where you were. >> there was a back channel way of getting ahold of me and ultimately folks did. i changed my flight and came back home. >> the media is just over planning this. not the way it truly is. >> again, if you are the guy who messed up -- and i am the guy who messed up. i will not cast stones about where folks are coming from. i will simply say what i said before, is some people have seen it in the best interest, i think, to keep things stirred up perhaps a little bit more than all to be the case. i was gone over that weekend and i plead guilty. >> is that impeachable?
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host: gail is on the phone from clover. good morning. caller: i have my opinion of governors' sanford's actions. i am appalled at his marital problems. possible reason for him resigning were being in peach is that he left the state with no governor -- impeached. every time he left like that, he left the state without a governor and no one to take over, either. host: your response? guest: no question, he was out of pocket. i did not think anybody can apologize for it as much as he
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adds. i did not think it is impeachable. he said there were back channel ways to detect them -- the last time was found was three of four days and his cellphone have been shut off. i really do believe he was out of pocket a little while, so much so by staff had to lie and say he was hiking the appalachian trail when he was out of the country with his mistress or girlfriend or whenever you feel comfortable calling the lady. the bottom line in that respect is, yes, i do think governor sanford made a horrific mistake as the ceo of the state, the face of the state. if something really bad happened in north carolina, if there had been natural disaster, if a bridge collapsed, or a bad weather situation took place, or if we needed to call out the guard, where would be the governor to make the decision? certainly there are things in place, obviously, if the governor when not in place but they would have turned to the lieutenant governor. i don't think the state would have collapsed. but at the same time people
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would have looked for and wanted their governor to be there to be a calming influence. he wasn't there. thank goodness nothing bad happened. disaster averted, this and that. but in the end, was he awake? absolutely. is that impeachable? i don't think it qualifies. but it is horrifically irresponsible on his part. other than apologizing and learning from it, i don't think it is worthy of kicking him out with less than a year to go when they reconvene in january. but there are people who will try to use that. host: lori from cleveland, ohio. caller: i have more restatement than a question. maybe it is not really an impeachable offense that it is rather personal. i really feel bad for his wife
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and the children and hopefully they can work things out. we all make mistakes and errors -- maybe we shall not judge so harshly. i think it's a look of the job. if he has not done a good job, then don't vote him in again. if he has done a good job for your state, then let him come back. judge on his works and not on the errors they make in life. i feel like that. i believe in the bible, i know david made mistakes -- speaking of king david, but, you know, he was forgiven by god. host: -- thank you for the call. guest: thank you. the thing to understand the ramifications. if you are one of the faults that feels like, yes, his personal life, leave it out, that is fine. but you -- you have to ask why people whether from cleveland,
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ohio, new hampshire, there is a reason why that is happening. not just because c-span has a wide and vast audience, but everyone is aware of this. i spent time over labor weekend in detroit at a wedding. everyone who heard i was there was saying, you are from south carolina. what about the governor? a few weeks ago in new york, strolling across times square was jenny san for walking out the governor's mansion with her boys, leaving -- jenny sanford. you have to ask, can mark sanford and his final year as governor of south carolina with -- in a state with 12% unemployment, in a state where we desperately need jobs, does he have any credibility when he goes to other places around the country, when he goes internationally, but he have the credibility to bring anything home to south carolina, to do anything to improve our difficult economic situation? that is the question. certainly, what happens in his
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marriage is between mark and jenny sanford, but as a result of in making it so public, you have to ask, will anyone taken seriously when it comes to letting him get anything accomplished. we in south carolina deserve a government, we deserve a general assembly, we deserve a government trying to get things done any time we desperately need leadership. host: keven is the radio talk- show host from wvoc. first of all, thank you for allowing our cameras to cover it. and thank you for being with us today. guest: a privilege. thank you for having me. any time. host: and about seven minutes, at u.s. supreme court oral arguments in a case getting attention. audio can be heard on c-span3 later today at 11:30 a.m. east coast time. our sixth bus is in boston today. joining us from -- our civics
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bus is in boston today. joining us is professor smith. what is the significance of this case and what impact can have on mccain/fine eingold? guest: specifically regulations, finance of elections. they can roll that corporations have a right under the fourth -- first amendment to give money to support campaign electioneering without any restrictions by the federal government, and indeed, state government. it could toss out completely mccain fine gon/feingold. if they want to make a dramatic slice through campaign laws, but do this.
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but the roberts court so far has taken more of a minimalist, incremental approach in striking down laws that restrict free speech. and i think this would be a dramatic change if the courts went for the wholesale over- rolling of the statute. but the fact that they set the arguments for today before the beginning of the term was a signal they are indeed considering doing it. host: the essence of the case is a movie that was released last year during the democratic primary. guest: that's right -- "hillary: the movie" was set to come out, and it was within 60 days and of nondurable law, if the of a documentary done, even someone independent of the campaign, it cannot be funded by corporations and a half to disclose the contributors or donors. they are a corporation. some of the corporation they took were corporate donations.
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so they were barred under the law. they went to court to challenge it. they were unable -- never able to run the movie the way it wanted to because the district court ruled against them and that led to this appeal to the supreme court. host: this will be the first time we will likely hear questioning by the newest associate justice, judge sonia sotomayor, who was on the court yesterday as the investiture took place. what change, if any, does she bring to the court and ultimately what they may decide in this particular case? guest: i think there are a couple of ways she might affect the corporate other justices have come -- might affect the court. other justices -- it can change the dynamic. justice o'connor and ginsberg, the two women, said it does make a difference problem and the court. i think just the sotomayor may have unpredictable ways of
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influencing the dynamic of the court. in terms of the substance of rulings, what are her legal views, and will that change the voting, i think it unlikely in the particular case that will change the outcome. justice souter, who supported the regulation of these kinds of campaign finance the nation. sotomayor, even if she were to adopt a similar view, would not affect the number of justices on that side. and there are five justices, it appears, was seriously question those campaign finance laws. they wouldn't need road if indeed they go the way most predicting they would go. -- they wouldn't need her vote. it will be interesting to see her argument, not only because it is her first argument, but the first argument of the first woman solicitor general of the united states and two women lawyers are former solicitor general's, and the fourth lawyer general's, and the fourth lawyer -- and it is unusual to hav

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